I am a high performing (previous years SL2) design engineer in OR working in an IP development group. I knew I had to escape my old group back in 2019 as my 2LM had it out for me. I had a transfer all set up with another sister group all within the same org. Since it was an internal transfer, my new manager didn't need a req and if headcount was to be flat, it was supposed to be easy.
I informed my old group beginning of Dec 2019, and there was an email saying that my start date was to be beginning of Jan 2020. I took off on a long vacation then in Dec as I had no more responsibilities in my old group. I came back in Jan 2020 and noticed I still hadn't transferred in the org chart. Ok, I thought, no big deal. I was told some focal tool was shut down and transfer would happen eventually. Lo and behold, my old 2LM calls me into a room and tells me with a smirk that I was being let go due to the business unit not needing my skills anymore and was saying I was being blamed for some recent attrition in his org due to behavioral problems. There are more politics involved I won't get into.
My new manager can't do anything. He has no req and if headcount is supposed to be reduced and not even maintained flat, I can't transfer to him he says. This is pretty horrible. If I would've known I was to be fired back in Dec, I would've started looking for a job then, not now with more talent flooding the market. Do I have any legal recourse here? I have an email clearly stating my start date with the new manager/team clearly to be beginning of Jan.